Jeff Vorva's imPRESSions: Two schools close and a farmers market opens


Jeffs-Col-ImpressionsI’ve often told people that one of the joys of working in this dying profession is that no two days of work are the same.
You start your day off with a plan and more often than not, the plan changes because you just can’t predict the news. There have been a few occasions that I was moving stories around and reporter Bob Rakow and I were writing a few minutes before deadline because some major news story had the audacity to break right when we were fluffing up the pillows ready to put the paper to bed.
Even when there are events planned, no two days are the same.
There is a three-day span coming up thatPAGE-3-2-col-JVcolThere were good times at Mt. Assisi over the years but the school will host a Thanksgiving and Closing Mass on Sunday. Photo courtesy of Mt. Assisi Facebook page. will feature some emotional punches for different reasons.
On Saturday, the month of May ends and so does St. Bernadette School. The Evergreen Park school is closing its doors because of financial woes, and there will be a 4 p.m. Mass at the church and a celebration and open house from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. for people to tour and visit the classrooms one more time. And there will be free pizza.
It will be a day of mixed emotions.
School closings are feel-bad stories on so many levels.
On Sunday, June will be busting out all over. It will be a new month!
And there will be another school closing to deal with, darn it.
At 11 p.m., more than 1,500 people are expected to drive up the hill one more time for the Thanksgiving and Closing Mass at Mt. Assisi Academy in Lemont, which has had a lot of students from our area attend over the years.
The outdoor Mass will be followed by hot dogs and hamburgers available for purchase. Like with St. Bernadette the day before, there will be tours of the old classrooms on that day.
That brings us to Monday.
After two sad end-of-an-era days in a row, Monday will bring us a dawn of a new era.
Chicago Ridge, a town that is celebrating its 100th anniversary, will host its first farmers market.
While it can’t equate with the importance of school closings, it is still a pretty cool thing. Farmers markets have been staples in some communities for years. People love them.
So starting at 2 p.m. on Monday at 10739 S. Ridgeland Ave., Chicago Ridge will host its first Working Man’s Farmers Market until 7 p.m.
The CR bosses are calling it “unique and convenient for all.”
Stuff for sale include beef, chicken, turkey, pork, egg, herbs, honey, breads, cupcake, tamales, kettle corn, soaps and hot dogs.
The market will run the first and third Mondays of each month until Oct. 6.

Nun left?
With the closing of Mt. Assisi, Chicago Ridge reader Rita Pratl posed an interesting question in an e-mail she sent our way.
“Since we heard the heartbreaking news of the school’s closure, I’ve been contemplating something -- where is the next closest school that has religious women [nuns] in habits teaching in the classroom?’’ she said. “I’ve actually asked several people, and I haven’t heard of any yet.  Is there a school on the North Side?  Is there a school in our neighboring states?  It’s truly an end to an era, a sad end.  The connection between young girls and sisters is really amazing.
“They converse about topics in today’s world that young girls need to sort through, they joke and tease each other a bit, and they pray together regularly.  It’s a truly amazing connection.  I attend many events at school and at each one -- dances, awards ceremonies, graduations, etc. -- you can see a student hugging a nun and it’s a wonderful sight to behold. There is something both magical and holy that happens up on that beautiful hill.”

First ImPRESSions
Last week, the old column title of “Editor’s Notebook” and even older photo of me have been replaced.
When I wrote for the Regional, I was fine with the unimaginative “Reporter’s Notebook” because I couldn’t come up with anything better. Several times I encouraged the former Reporter editor, Jason Maholy, to write a column and call it “a bunch of Maholy.”
I’ve been able to come up with good ideas for others.
For me?
Not so good.
Well, it was finally time for a change so I cooked up this idea of posing with my press pass and calling the column “Forgive us our Press Passes’’ but I fell out of love with that bright idea about 24 hours later.
So, stuck with a photo of me with a press pass, I settled on “ImPRESSions” over “Full Court Press.”
Not great, but it beats the heck out “Editors Notebook.’’
Hopefully the column will stay funny, unusual and insightful.

Full disclosure
We never want to deceive the public and using the magic of the computer to change a picture is something I usually forbid.
But I requested to our fine designer, Kari Nelson, to make the press pass in my hand a little bigger so that you can actually see the word “PRESS” on it. See, the pass is so small and I am so…Hmmm, how can I put this so I don’t sound like I am full of blubber? Oh yeah…majestic that you could hardly see the card.
So she jacked it up a little and I am owning up to our little bit of trickery.
Now if we can just get rid of some of that gray on my melon…